Trumpeter, composer, and educator, Dr. Jeff Claassen has performed, recorded, and toured globally, playing at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Montreux Jazz Festival, Fenway Park, The Panama Jazz Festival, The Village Vanguard, North Seas Jazz Festival, Boston’s Wang Theater, and San Francisco’s Warfield Theater. Jeff has had his original compositions premiered in Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Berklee Performance Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, and The Festival of New American Music, in California. His music has also been featured in two award-winning independent films. Appearing on dozens of recordings, ranging from jazz and classical to rock, to world music, and video game music, Jeff has recorded and performed with a diverse group of notable names including Paquito D’Rivera, Bob Brookmeyer, Esperanza Spalding, Lake Street Dive, Dave Liebman, Sean Jones, John Fedchock, Gunther Schuller, Anat Cohen, Smash Mouth, Danilo Perez, George Garzone, J. Geils, John Patitucci, Maria Schneider, Bill Cunliffe, Danny Seraphine, Artie Shaw, War, Luciana Souza, and Herb Pomeroy.
Born and raised in California, Jeff moved to Boston to study composition and improvisation with jazz legend Bob Brookmeyer at The New England Conservatory of Music. Jeff received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition and Theory from California State University, Sacramento, and he received his Doctorate and Master’s Degrees from New England Conservatory in Composition and Jazz Studies. Jeff is an active performer and freelance trumpet player in the Boston/New York area where he has toured with Bob Brookmeyer and his New Art Orchestra, Mehmet Sanlikol’s WHAT’S NEXT ensemble, and is the lead trumpet player in The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra. Additionally, Jeff can frequently be found playing in Eguie Castrillo’s Mar Del Norte salsa band, The Fernando Huergo Big Band, and in pit orchestras and live shows at theaters throughout Boston and New England.
Jeff is Associate Professor in the Harmony and Jazz Composition Department at Berklee College of Music, and is on the advisory board for Making Music Matters, an organization committed to providing high-quality instrumental music education to students in Boston Public Schools.